About 163 Trump scandals ago, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) recused himself from the House Russian investigation for feeding information to Donald Trump. A report from CNN, though, shows that he’s still receiving intelligence.
As you may recall, just a few weeks ago, Nunes came under fire for visiting the White House grounds after learning that Donald Trump may have been swept up in surveillance before he took office. Nunes denies that he delivered the intel to Trump but nonetheless, he recused himself from the investigation — at least he appeared, until now, to have recused himself.
Nunes, a California Republican, took a trip to the CIA this week to review Russia intelligence, according to House intelligence committee sources. As word of Nunes trip trickled out among lawmakers this week, it angered Democrats who thought that they had moved past the chaos spurred by Nunes’ coordination with the White House.
Rep. Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, shrugged when asked if he was concerned that Nunes had not completely removed himself from the House Russia investigation.
“He recused himself, so he can set those limits,” Quigley said.
A senior House Republican aide noted that Nunes is still the chairman of the House intelligence committee and has duties, which still require him to review classified intelligence. The aide added that House Speaker Paul Ryan is not setting the terms of Nunes’ recusal from the leadership of the investigation.
Recusal, it appears, is all relative, at least if you’re a Trump loving Republican. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, but still played a role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Democrats in both the House and the Senate are taking the investigation of Trump and his Russian ties very seriously, but Republicans, as Nunes and Sessions are proving, are doing everything in their power to obstruct the investigation. While it might be legal for Nunes to have the intel, it’s certainly against the spirit of his recusal. If House leadership had a spine, they’d be taking him off the committee altogether.
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